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September 22nd, 2003


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11:34 am
(Jimmi O'Badger asked me about capitalization of my name. It's one of the few rare things in this world that I've actually put thought into the presentation of. Normally I don't give a crap how people perceive me, cause they either get it right or wrong, and there's little that I can do to change that. I can pretend to be something other then myself, and then they perceive that and not truly me, which I choose to do now and then, but normally I like to just be me and let them perceive what they can.
My name however, and how I write it, I do think about.)



Question: why is your name in lowercase, but "I" capitalized? isn't that contradictory?

I never really capitalize my name. it's just my name.
however, I is capitalized, cause if you don't capitalize it then it's not a word, it's just a letter. ;o)

Ok, so I do capitalize my name now and then.
here we go.

i remember when I first decided not to capitalize my name. it was early in college. I still can't quite define why I don't, but it just feels more right in lower case.
If I'm writing my full name, Ry Strohm-Herman, I always capitalize. if I'm just writing ry, I rarely capitalize. It mostly has to do with whether or not I'm refering to myself in a formal sense. When I'm writing e-mails, if I don't know the person I'm writing to I capitalize Ry even if I'm leaving off the last name. If I know the person, I usually sign it -ry or -me.
It's definitely a formality/familiarity thing. Ry sounds too big for 'lil 'ole me unless it's in a business sense, or somewhere else that I'm trying to impress people/get a raise.
My friends call my ry, my boss calls me Ry.



now the rest of you out there, do you capitalize your name? do you capitalize "I"? why/why not?
mood: curiouscurious
music: nadda.

(27 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:September 22nd, 2003 08:49 am (UTC)
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I capitalize both, normally, unless I'm talking about the small nora that lives under my bed.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:09 am (UTC)
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heh.
is she bite-sized? larger? puntable?
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:29 am (UTC)
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Larger than bite-sized, definitely puntable. She lives in a hollowed-out pumpkin. Except it's not orange. It's... blue. And sparkly.
But you can definitely punt her. She might gnaw on your shoes and hang on by her teeth, though. And she doesn't really yelp like the small dogs, so it's not as satisfying.
From:9mm
Date:September 22nd, 2003 08:51 am (UTC)
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Ummm...since I use initials its changed several times.
J.P.
JP
and now Jp

Caps of "I"?
If I remember to do it yeah. But if Im typing fast or spellcheck doesnt get it no.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:09 am (UTC)
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so Jp is now your name instead of being initials.
:o)
From:9mm
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:19 am (UTC)
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Its one of many names. ^_~
From:andthoughtstoo
Date:September 22nd, 2003 09:15 am (UTC)
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I tend to use initials in emails, thus: hts. I rarely refer to myself by my name, for whatever reason. Since I share my name with a common shrubbery, maybe the value of it is lost, or maybe the value of it is magnified. I dunno. Or, I'll sign emails and LJ entries with an "*", because it's like a Sparkle.
I capitalize "I", but just of late, as I spent the better part of a decade not doing it (save for auto-correct--that most damnable program feature ever. That and spell-check. Do you realize [this being the literacy nut/librarian in me peeking out] how many kids and adults have increasingly atrocious spelling skills because of these features? Really, when I was teaching, it was Dis-Fucking-Heartening to hear, "Oh, well I guess the spellcheck didn't work." Hello!?!?! Go get a fucking dictionary, you little lazy shits!)... Right. But in an effort to return to my once scholarly and literate self, I've resurrected the "I" and other capitals recently. I feel good about it.
[User Picture]
From:jimmi_obadger
Date:September 22nd, 2003 09:23 am (UTC)
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I don't capitalize i or my given name, except in formal/business writing. I give a lot of reasons for this, depending on who's asking and when. I think it probably started as pure laziness or mopey gothdom, and i just kept at it. I, because it seems absurd to capitalize one pronoun and not the rest: it's symptomatic of our cultures' elevation of the self over all else. Everyone does it, but i feel like it's worth it to try and be a little more aware. My name, partly as a holdover from the aforementioned mopey gothdom, partly because i am a submissive, partly because of the also-aforementioned dislike of the modern West's cult of the self.

Jimmi gets capitalized pretty consistently. But zie is zir own person, not terribly well integrated with the rest, and that's just weird and a whole other navel-gazing session.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:14 am (UTC)
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silly Jimmi...
I'm still confused by all that. that's a whole other conversation as well though. ;o)

I agree with the "West's cult of the self," but I've never been one to get myself too worked up over it. It's a cultural thing. I don't want to fight it any more than I want to fight fake japanese politeness or Indian's getting way too close to you when they talk, or make my irish coworker stop drinking. *ducks*
Americans are self-centered, I think I do far better than most simply becaue I recognize this, and since I never really leave the country I can be judged on my "Western-ness" relative to the rest of this self-centered country and come out ahead. (that sentance implies a lot more conscious thought than actually goes into it, but yeah.)

I hate the american culture of "look out for number 1" but I try not to let it affect me one way or the other. Must be the anthropologist in me coming out.
[User Picture]
From:jimmi_obadger
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:23 am (UTC)
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Right. You carefully blend in, the better to stand back and observe and study, whereas i am simply reactionary. It makes sense.

Mwr? Confused by what?
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:34 am (UTC)
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i've always been very conscious of names (for the obvious reason that mine is a perennial pain in the ass), and I wanna sit down and discuss at some point. that's all. :o)
[User Picture]
From:jimmi_obadger
Date:September 22nd, 2003 12:07 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. See, i never liked mine. I once changed the spelling... oh, i think six or seven times over the course of one year.
[User Picture]
From:flightyone
Date:September 22nd, 2003 09:24 am (UTC)
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I operate exactly like you; at work, everything is always capitalized properly. however, in personal writings; emails, LJ, etc., I rarely capitalize anything but "I", and sign things either -r, -robin, or -rr. I am an informal person, and it just suits me better.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:09 am (UTC)
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go us!
informality rules.
[User Picture]
From:jimmi_obadger
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:02 am (UTC)
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Oh, and i didn't say it was contradictory. I just said it made it stand out. So :p
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 10:03 am (UTC)
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ok, so I was extrapolating. =P
actually I just thought that it made my post make more sense, I wasn't trying to stick words in your mouth. :o)
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:16 am (UTC)
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This is a totally random though, but asterisk8 looks a lot like that friend of yours from high school whose name started with a Ph, who in turn looks a lot like Kieran Culkin. Damn. What was his name...
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:19 am (UTC)
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Fionn? That would be the only person I could think of.
Only in that gaunt face kind of way. I can see what you mean, a vague resemblance, but nothing that would ever have jumped out at me.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:25 am (UTC)
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Hmm, I guess I was spelling his name Pheann or something. Yeah, my resemblance meter is always a few notches away from everyone else's. :) But that's who I was talking about, if it was the computer programmer guy (who is currently hanging out on my coast, right?).
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:35 am (UTC)
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yeah, he's living outside seattle and apparently is some kind of programming recluse.
not surprising, I was convinced he was the unabomber there for a bit.
I miss him, I think I'll go google him.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:45 am (UTC)
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Mmm, Seattle. Ick, programming recluse. Nothing personal ;) I've just had my fill of those, methinks. To quote Sam Keen, "You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly." I have lost the ability/grace to see programmers that way.

even though the ry is quite awesome. :)
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:57 am (UTC)
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hey, I do hardware, not software.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:September 22nd, 2003 12:17 pm (UTC)
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I miss doing hardware. It was so much fun. :) Except when they had me working on fnarking 8500s. But you can tell how long ago that was. :)
[User Picture]
From:djtotentanz
Date:September 22nd, 2003 11:23 am (UTC)
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I generally capitalize both, but I think it's more a force of habit as opposed to anything I've really sat down and thought much about.

There is, however, one case where I consciously do not capitalize my name...

- If I'm writing an email to a person I do not know very well personally (the exception to this is more formal business correspondance) and the only font available is one that makes an upper case "I" look indistinguishable from a lower case "l". Then I might very well write my name in all lower case letters so that they can see my name is Ilyssa and not "Llyssa".

I think there have been points where I wrote it in all lower case letters in emails to my girlfriend, but that wasn't really anything conscious. With her, I tend to sign things with her nickname for me as opposed to my given name.

I, however, is always capitalized. The only time I ever fail to do so is when I'm pretending to type like an emo kid (for entertainment purposes only) because they don't capitalize anything.
[User Picture]
From:bunnyroo
Date:September 22nd, 2003 12:31 pm (UTC)
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i've put way too much thought into this in my life.

i stopped capitalizing i early on in high school. felt that if he/she wasn't capitalized and that stood for proper names than i shouldn't put 'I' above them. all in the name of equality. through that, i stopped capitalizing in my handwritten world pretty much entirely.

when i write for school, i write with societally correct caps. in the rest of my life, i only hit shift to make the fun chars above the numbers.

[User Picture]
From:moira_kathleen
Date:September 22nd, 2003 03:04 pm (UTC)
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I tend not to capitalize my name when I'm sending off emails to friends or family members, but with pretty much everything else I'll capitalize my name. Of course, I'm talking about Amy here - it's my name that I use with friends and family, thusly it tends to be used in more causual situations and I'll be less likely to think of myself in formal terms. Amelia always gets capitalized; it's definately more formal, even though it's my real name. I'm trying to use it with my new friends here, and it feels a bit weird in causual situations at the moment.
I pretty much always capitalize "I;" if I don't, it's usually because I took my finger off of the shift key too soon, and I'll typically go back and fix it. Of course, I took two years of German in college and want to take it again, so sometimes I'll just capitalize random nouns.
[User Picture]
From:prosicated
Date:September 22nd, 2003 04:54 pm (UTC)
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I recently started capitalizing my "I"s and "Meg"s after years upon years (we're talking late elementary school)of fighting capitalization. I started capitalizing because I have trouble remembering whom I'm writing for when I write and the amount of criticism I got at work for my capitalization was getting problematic. I also started capitalizing because I realized I'd always felt guilty not capitalizing other people's names and that that meant that I had some assumptions that uncapitalized names were negative/derogatory. Since I'm on this whole "I don't suck" campaign, I figured I ought to learn to respect myself and show that respect through my writing. Another thing, for me at least, is that "I" is the narrator in any piece of writing. If you're referencing yourself it's to lend something to your argument/statement or whatever. I feel like for ease of reading and understanding text it's helpful to have the "I" stand out just like someone else's name does. You'll notice that when I sign letters or emails I less frequently sign with my capitalized name. I also have some odd theories about signing or not signing emails that are unrelated to the current topic.
Besides all that, I play such games with capitalization anyway (see prior entries about the City vs. cities, etc.) that to worry about grammatical conventions doesn't seem like too much of an imposition or like conforming to the Western "looking out for #1" culture.
too much typing however... =)
(Jimmi O'Badger asked me about capitalization of my name. It's one… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy

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